Czech news in brief for June 12: Wednesday's top headlines

Gun dealers likely to report suspicious purchases sooner, Czechia rebuilds frontlines in Ukraine, and prices for cottages in Czechia decline. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 12.06.2024 09:00:00 (updated on 12.06.2024) Reading time: 3 minutes

CZECHIA TRAIN CRASH RegioJet crash driver passed signal too late

Inspector General of the Railway Inspection Jan Kučera revealed that the driver of the RegioJet express train realized too late he had passed a signal before the tragic collision with a freight train in Pardubice last week. The freight train's driver was unable to stop in time due to a lack of warning. Four women died and 27 were hospitalized. Kučera noted that the RegioJet train had been signaled to stop, but the driver missed it and increased speed, leading to the collision.

HATE SPEECH Man charged for online pro-Hamas statements

The Regional Court in Ostrava has sentenced a man for supporting a Hamas terrorist attack on Israel through his social media posts, based on a plea bargain with the prosecutor. Mareček, initially facing up to 12 years in prison, received a three-year suspended sentence with a five-year probation. The 19-year-old man expressed regret in court for his actions.  “The defendant has regretted his actions in court," a court spokesperson said.

diplomacy Pavel meets Slovak president during farewell trip

Czech President Petr Pavel and his wife Eva welcomed outgoing Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová and her partner Juraj Rizman at Prague Castle. Čaputová's two-day visit concludes her farewell trips abroad before the end of her five-year term. Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský greeted her at Prague Airport, and the presidential couples had a meeting followed by a press conference. This visit follows the tradition of Czech and Slovak presidents visiting each other's country as their first and last trips in office.

crime Police bust meth-making gang

Police spokeswoman Eva Michalíková announced that a 10-member group of meth producers and dealers, aged 24-50, have been charged with producing over 10 kilos of the drug, worth approximately CZK 10 million, between August and April. This is the largest gang that the police have dismantled in recent years. Authorities have been investigating for months and recently arrested four individuals for producing meth in an apartment, and detained 10 more at a separate location. Six of the detainees were part of an organized group.


Legislation Gun dealers may report suspicious purchases sooner

Gun and ammunition dealers will have to report suspicious purchases to police before 2026 under a new gun law amendment supported by the Chamber of Deputies. The amendment, prompted by a December shooting at a Prague university, also expands police powers to seize weapons. Interior Minister Vít Rakušan defended the draft, which now moves to the lower house security committee for further review.

Ukraine Czechia prioritizes repair of front-line areas

Czechia prioritizes rapid reconstruction in Ukraine's front-line areas, focusing on energy, water treatment, and healthcare, Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský said at a Berlin conference. Lipavský urged enhanced air defense to protect reconstruction efforts from Russian attacks. He met Ukrainian Deputy PM Olha Stefanishyna to discuss Ukraine's NATO and EU aspirations. Over 2,000 global representatives attended, including Ukrainian President Zelenskyy and German Chancellor Scholz.

Addiction More psychoactive substances to be banned

Starting July, new psychoactive substances derived from HHC and THCP will be added to the banned substances list. The Czech government will discuss the Ministry of Health's proposal on Wednesday. Initially, three similar substances were banned in March after hospitalizations of children consuming sweets containing them. The new ban targets substances like HHCP, HHCH, and others. A new category for regulated psychoactive substances will be established, pending Senate and European Commission approval.

real estate Prices for cottages in Czechia decline

Prices for cottages in the Czech Republic fell by an average of five percent in Q2, dropping around CZK 150,000 to CZK 2.79 million. The biggest declines occurred in Karlovy Vary, Ústí, and Moravian-Silesian regions. However, prices rose in Hradec Králové, Liberec, and Prague. Factors include stagnating prices for older family homes, higher building material costs, and reduced mortgage availability, according to real estate portal

Science Czech scientists develop AI tooth-decay detection

Czech scientists have developed an AI-based method to detect tooth decay more reliably, according to a press release from the Czech Technical University and the 1st Medicine Faculty of Charles University. This automated technology outperforms both novice and experienced dentists in detecting interdental cavities early. The research, published in Clinical Oral Investigations, highlights the method's potential use in training students, although integration into clinical practice will take longer, researchers note

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